CEO Siemens AG, Industry Sector, Drive Technology Division, Nuremberg:
"Further productivity and energy efficiency potential can only be generated through integration."
The optimization of the individual product is almost complete. That's why a new era has dawned for Siemens with its strategic approach to triple integration: the Drive Technologies Division wants to create the seamless powertrain, integrate it into the Totally Integrated Automation world of automation and finally integrate it into the customer's application. development scout spoke with Klaus Helmrich, CEO of the Drive Technologies Division, at the pre-press conference on the Hannover Messe about the new strategic direction.
development scout: The Hanover trade fair appearance of Siemens is based on the motto "Create sustainable value": How does your division implement this in drive technology?
development scout: With the advantage of "energy efficiency" almost every product innovation in drive technology is equipped today. What happens when it is exhausted?
Helmrich: After optimizing the energy efficiency of the individual product, this can be further enhanced by considering the overall application. Although the efficiency of an application can already be significantly increased by using efficient motors and suitable converters, a maximum can only be achieved with an integrated solution that encompasses the entire powertrain. About 60 percent of the savings in modern energy efficiency applications is achieved through the intelligent combination of components rather than the components themselves. The optimization of the individual products is thus largely exhausted. Further productivity and energy efficiency potential can only be generated in the integration.
development scout: how does it look in action?
Helmrich: We have the advantage of being able to offer our customers the complete powertrain: With transmission, clutch, motor, inverter and the associated control system, we create a seamless powertrain, integrate it into the Siemens automation world 'Totally Integrated Automation', or TIA for short this at the customer in his application. The TIA Portal is an engineering framework with which our users can optimally design the entire planning and programming process, the so-called engineering, on a uniform user interface. Since all data is managed centrally and the framework actively supports the user, the costs are reduced and the time-to-market is accelerated. Our strong industry level enables us to effectively transfer the integrated technologies to the application level.
development scout: Do you also see the trend back to simplicity, so that not every product has to be equipped with every feature, but rather limited to the equipment that the user actually needs?
Helmrich: By simplicity of the products we understand that we make it easy for the user to handle our products. However, the product must have the functionality that the user needs to be able to optimally operate its processes and applications. Our TIA Portal emphasizes the principle of simplicity. It allows the user to easily configure and parameterize his task. The user interface is adapted continuously to the process steps, the user always receives the information and options that he needs for the respective work step. At the Hannover Messe we will also be presenting a selection of software tools with which we can show the user the specific route to the product. With the DT Configurator, for example, he can systematically determine the technically optimum selection of inverters for his specific application. With the software 'StartDrive V11' we are currently integrating our converter technology into the TIA Portal.
development scout: Such strategic alignments are more necessary today than ever to survive in global competition. In your opinion, how can the German economy win the technical competition with China in the long term?
Helmrich: I agree with you: An offer that is as integrated as possible in terms of technology is in every respect important for future success on the world market. China is playing an increasingly important role for us. Sustainability and longevity of our offer stand in the foreground, not the short-term profit. And success on the world market has to be secured again and again.
Interview by Editor in Chief Angela Scheufler.